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In spite of many problems, Burma's press in Burma and abroad have reported two important incidents in recent weeks: the general election on November 7 and the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi six short months later. Conflicting signs have been sent out by the armed forces of their intention with regard to the free movement of the press. Non-democratic polls were dominated by censure, journalist arrest and other barriers, but Burma's papers were able to conduct interviews with the various contestants during the run.
Private journalists and international correspondent were given the privilege of talking about Suu Kyi's releases until more than 10 releases were subject to discipline by the press secretariat and the monitoring of international journalists intensified. We encourage the Burmese government to take this occasion to react to the various demands of ASEAN' s neighbours and the ASEAN Secretary-General for more free speech.
It is also important that the multinational corporation urge the public services to be more tolerant and help the internal and external censors. An exponent of Reporters Without Borders travelled to Burma before the election to assess the current state of affairs. In spite of being censored, monitored and obstructed, the Myanmar audio and video industry has been able to provide its readership, audiences and audiences with a wide range of unprecedented coverage and analysis since the 1990 poll.
reporters without borders also wanted to know more about the effects of the so-called exiled massages such as the Burmese democracy voice of Burma. Surveys and a recent Burmese study have confirmed the appeal of Burmese foreign-broadcasters. Respondents in the study asked 2,950 respondents in eight counties how they received their messages.
It shows how important it is for the global fellowship to support the Myanmar audio-visual world. This survey confirmed that many people in Burma, especially in city areas, are large consumer of newsmedia. Respondents reading the printed press (36%) are high for a less developed state. In spite of their low standard, the public service broadcasters, in particular, are being followed carefully.
Five percent of respondents say they hear an internationally operating broadcaster "every day" or "often", it is clear that the BBC, VOA, RFA and DVB are playing a vital part in giving the people of Burma accessibility to information and newscasts. Today, the web provides a new gateway to the outside environment and a new room for expressing oneself, especially after the recent blast of Burma's Blog.
The number of people watching DVB TV is almost as much as the state-sponsored over-the-air stations. Sat-TV has become an important and strategical information and communication tool in Burma. DVB's professionality is praised by the world' s leading financial services industry and DVB's professionalism. The country' s leading journalists and correspondents are trusted by the film.
Burma's foreign-based broadcasters such as DVB TV, which were able to transmit electoral programs in real time, were supported by similar trends in the country's press. A number of private audio-visual companies are stepping up their activities, especially on the web, enhancing the format and content of their publication and shifting the boundaries of censure.
The Myanmar Times and the Eleven Media Group therefore spent extra money on their electoral reporting. Myanmar has more than 150 private papers and journals, but all are censored prior to release by the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, generally known as the Press Scrutiny Board, which is headed by a senior army official.
In Burma, the Burmese BBC, RFA, VOA and DVB were never free to work in the state and were frequently assaulted by the Burmese warlords. Only very few visa are granted to non-national reporter. There is a specialised policing unit responsible for overseeing the journalist, under the supervision of General Than Shwe.
DVB's secret reporter work, which has been featured in the Burma VJ and other Burma exiles, continues to be very cunning. Burma's citizens are informed by the authorities' own television and television channels, as well as their own dailies, which are under the immediate supervision of the country's army junk.
Sometimes a private mag sees a third of its contents away in this way. In a 2008 statement to the Myanmar press, the Army Office of Human Rights said that "publishing photos, sketches, paintings, articles, novels or poems without sending them (in anticipation of censorship) will be punished".
Despite strict controls on the Myanmar newspapers, they have done their best to keep the general population informed of the candidates' programs and what was at risk. Favorite News private journal was suspensed for two consecutive months for having published a slightly ironical comic about the poll. A lot has been used by the federal administration to carry the message of high-ranking members of the June 2009 regime, such as Prime Minister Thein Sein, a USDP-ruling contender who called on the Myanmar people to vote "patriots" to remove the "destructive elements" and vote for USDP-rules.
A number of members of the government-backed Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association ran for pro-junta party seats, in some cases against their will. Private weekly newspapers were able to report on the camp, even though the army tried to repress all debates in the newsmagazine. "Usually three officers are checking our paper on the Press Scrutiny Board, but in view of the forthcoming election, each line is now reread by a doze.
" Since May, he added, further employees have been appointed to the Press Secretariat. Utilizing a July announcement that the publishing of promotional items produced by goverment press would be voluntary, some private papers began to open their pages to nominees who were members of the legitimate ruling party or not.
Foreign resident journalists drew up all the registers of their electoral reporting. Thereupon, the Board compelled the papers to announce that the sentence for demanding a vote boycotts was 5 to 30 years in jail. In practice, this prevented the grassroots newspaper from citing a spokesperson for the National League for Democracy, the most important opponent that was boycotting the vote.
In order to secure a win for the governing USDP, every news release about the use of government funds to back its campaigns was also censured. Against this backdrop, the safety environment has destroyed the opportunities for unlimited reporting in the news. Sound was dictated by the electoral commission's prohibition of journalism and camerawork.
A number of Myanmar and international reporters were detained for trying to take photographs or interviews with local or outside polling places. After more than seven years of separation, her liberation was a planned episode that, despite the regime's compulsions for overseas news coverage, was practically broadcast on-air. Reporting was a great challange for the local press.
At first, the Press Scrutiny Board gave the private press the go-ahead to post their photograph and an essay as long as it was brief and was all about their free. Private press enquiries were quickly examined by the press secretariat on the orders of several Naypyidaw general.
These include Seven Days Journal, Venus Journal, Open News Journal, Messenger, Myanmar Newsweek, Voice Journal, People Age and Snap Shot. You also include Hot News Journal, although it belongs to a general's daugther, Khin Maung Than. This was an important economic hit for these private papers. Most of the press have not published anything about Suu Kyi since that Rangoon gathering.
The prohibition, imposed by high officials in Naypyidaw, has once again helped to increase the importance of foreign-based newspapers. As a result, the press review committee compelled private papers to republish those published by the government's propaganda. Another worrying signal was the denial of entry to the press briefing given by United Nations High Representative Vijay Nambiar during his visit to Burma at the end of November to report on Burma's private use.
Participation was restricted to members of the FPRC. Though they have a vital part in spreading information about Burma, they do not directly reach a local population. Burma's police were astonished by the large number of international reporters who attended the election, and even more so by the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Despite the rejection of several hundred applications for visas by Burma's international missions, international journalist, both reporter and freelancer, came to the Burmes. Favourable developments have been the international media's successful efforts to circumvent the junta's visas limitations. "I' m not interested in attracting international commentators or commentators.
" Twenty five Myanmar journalist working for overseas newspapers and two China correspondent were the only overseas reporter to report there. Newspapers are able to be inflexibly opposed to international jounalists who get busted "working without a publicity visa". "At least seven international reporter, among them Toru Yamaji of the APF, the Japan correspondent, were detained and expelled during the poll.
It is a curious piece of art that bears witness to the impact of Burmese foreign-broadcasters: the Burmese people: the radio: Reporter sans Frontières' survey confirms their exceptional impact. DVB's short-wave audio is not very good, as the channels are far from Burma, but it still has a considerable number of audiences in the state.
Out of the 808 DVB subscribers surveyed, 509 said they favoured newscasts. Of the 1,730 DVB audiences surveyed (more than half), 925 gave preference to newscasts. The DVB TV was started at a period when the Burmese began to use satellites to watch TV on the world.
These popularities show how important it is for the people of Burma to receive their messages from sales points that are not under the control of their state. She gave the first interview for Burmese-speaking journalists abroad because it was the best way for them to be listened to by their people.
DVB video: Funding Issues - "Censorship and Detention " The enthusiasm that some Burmese commentators have experienced in recent months must be mitigated by taking into account the fundamental issues. It seems that the army jungle has not resolved to alter its policy of free media. Detention of reporters and blogs is still a widespread practise aimed at frightening their counterparts and fomenting dissidents' zeal.
Before the election, Kantarawaddy News Journal reporter Nyi Nyi Tun was imprisoned for 13 years by a military tribunal gathered in Insein Jail. A minimum of 15 reporters, videographers and blogs are currently being held in relation to their work. Most of the 2,200 detainees were imprisoned for criticising the regime, handing out flyers or mailing information to foreign newspapers.
One recent example is the 15-year prison term sentenced to Oakkan Tha at the end of September for "anti-election activities" for transmitting information to the Thai news agency Mon. Recent newsweek has shown that Burma's private press is able to report important incidents such as the recent general election and the liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi with a professional and creative approach.
It seems that the regime and the recently voted parliamentary assembly are not prepared to have a firm hold on the press. Whilst everything suggests that the 7 November polls were affected by deception, they have at least allowed the press to speak about policy. However, the electoral commission's not very impartial electoral structure was completely incompatible with the rule of democracy, but Burma's reporters in Burma and abroad took up the challenges.
Burma is being urged by reporters without borders and the Burma Metal Association to do so: Ending the system of penalties, in particular those set out in the ten-point codex for private sector work. Complete revision of the Law on Free Speech, in particular the Printing and Publishing Registration Law of 1962, the Emergency Law of 1950, Art. 505/B of the Penal Codex, the Television and Video Law of 1996, the Computer Science Development Law of 1996, the Civil Servant Secrecy Law of 1923 and the Burma Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933.
Issue of secondment visa to journalist from abroad on demand. The Burma Média Association and reporters without borders are calling on the global population: "Reporters without Borders": Interceding with the Myanmar government to secure the releases of detained journalist and blogger. Urges you to abolish the previous censor. Increasing assistance to Burma's private newsmedia and maintaining continued assistance to Burma's overseas financial institutions, which are the primary source of information and newscast.